Recently we had the joy of visiting the church of Pisambilla for a baby dedication.
Timothy was invited to dedicate Samara the daughter of Gloria, one of his seminary students. Gloria is also the daughter of Pastor Carlos.
Here is a short podcast about this wonderful experience.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-9 we read: “Listen, Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You must love the LORD your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength. These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up. You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead. Inscribe them on the door frames of your houses and gates.”
This scripture is very important especially as we think about how to raise a child in a manner dedicated to God.
Deuteronomy teaches us that God is unique, the only one worthy of worship! The scripture teaches us that our attitude toward God is to be one of love. Love through thought (intellect, creativity), Love through body and spirit (our whole being), and Love through work (strength).
This is a Quechua hymn called Cuya Tayta Diolla. We love hearing our brothers and sisters sing in this beautiful language!
The scripture then instructs us that this truth is to be taught to our children. We are to teach our children to love God as we sit in our house. This means that our home must be a home focused on God’s truth. Both naturally and intentionally we raise our kids in an atmosphere of faith at home.
We see Pastor Carlos raising his children in a home filed with faith. We know that Gloria will raise Samara in the same atmosphere.
We are to instruct our children in the ways of faith as we walk along the road. Notice the contrast between the home and the road. At home we are supposed to be protected, safe, and free to be most ourself. The message of faith in the home is unified. The road is different. In the road we encounter the dangers of life, difficult people, and confusing thoughts. The road is where our faith is tested. The Scripture says that we are to teach our children in this challenging atmosphere as well. We are to guide them through the troubles in the life. We are to walk with them on the paths they choose to walk. We are to teach our children in the safety of our homes and also in the vulnerability of the road.
This Scripture then goes on to speak of another instance in which we are to instruct our children in the way of faith. We are to remind our children as we lie down and as we get up. This means that our day is to be spent in a manner that brings our kids into a living relationship with God our Father. In every situation during the day we have a choice, we can either act and react in a way that brings our kids into a deeper relationship with God or in a way that drives our kids away from the loving arms of our Savior. A measured and Christ entered response to life’s daily issues teaches our children the way of faith. We must try to act and react in godly ways to all of life’s problems both extraordinary and mundane.
We often rise to the occasion when the extraordinary occurs but consistency in the mundane is what prepares us for the extraordinary.
This Scripture then goes on to tell us to make physical reminders of the truth. That’s because we are both a physical and spiritual creation. Sometimes we need to make physical reminders of spiritual truths. We should find a physical reminder of our faith. We should connect the spiritual truth that we teach our children with physical reminders of that truth. This is what Jesus did when he taught.
This Scripture concludes with the instruction to write the truth on your door and gate. Door frames and gates are the part of the home that the community sees. What the Bible is teaching is that we are to be a witness to the community. As parents we have a lot of influence on our children the community we live in also shapes our children’s thoughts and actions. This is why we take every opportunity to share our faith with our neighbors. Our witness is to shine inside and outside of our homes, our witness should help shape the spiritual atmosphere in which our children will grow up.
What does your community see from the outside looking in?
Jesus quotes these verses and joins them with Leviticus 19:18 in Matthew 22:37-40.
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, “‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind .’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘ Love your neighbor as yourself .’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Loved ones, the same Jesus Christ who invited The children to come to him invites us to live in Divine love. Allow me to encourage you, love God, love others, live accordingly so that Our Children can see and believe.
With much love, The Downings